Like many people, when Janis graduated college she wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do for a living. After selling surgery equipment for a few years she realized that it would be more fun to be hands on in the operating room. So she went back to school and attended Clarian Surgical Technology Program where she became a certified surgical technologist (CST) in 2002. Six years later she took the certification exam to become a certified surgical first assistant (CSFA). Janis’ job is to assist the physician in surgery and ensure that the operating room is a safe environment and the equipment is working properly.
In 2014, Janis joined OrthoIndy. She immediately loved the teamwork and camaraderie at OrthoIndy and believes OrthoIndy surgeons are the best of the best. She has assisted a number of OrthoIndy physicians over the years, but she enjoys assisting on trauma cases the most. “I’m kind of a trauma junkie,” she said. “I’m fascinated by the situation and the story behind it. It’s like building a puzzle.”
Janis likes to stay busy and is always on the go. “I thrive in controlled chaos, it motivates me to get things done, but it’s nice to come home from work and relax in the country.”
Outside of work
Janis lives on a 13-acre farm in Noblesville with her husband, Steve and their two children, Hadley and Trevor. Her family is very active in sports, outdoor activities, Girl Scouts, motocross and raising horses.
In 2015, Janis decided to combine her love for horses and her fascination with trauma into a not-for-profit organization to teach life skills to troubled youth. “The idea stemmed from watching the news and seeing more and more kids involved in crime and seeing younger children coming into the emergency room,” she said. “It got me thinking; there isn’t much for kids to do, but get in trouble anymore. No child starts out as a troublemaker, they choose the wrong path usually due to lack of guidance. Most activities are too expensive and don’t offer role models, most community centers are closing in the areas that need them most.”
Janis believed that her 30 years of experience showing and training horses and the research supporting the calming effect of horses on children, was a great way to serve her community. “What better way to serve my community than to share my horses with those who wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience the healing power of horses,” she said.
Her biggest hope is that the kids that come through her program walk away with confidence, kindness and know that they have someone in the community that will listen to them. She hopes they will pay it forward, stay on the path to success and do their best in school.
Janis says that her parents always stressed the importance of helping someone in need when growing up. That’s why she tries to be a good example for her children and teach them the importance of making the community a better place. Her children have learned how to help with her not-for-profit and tend to the horses and their garden. Her family also enjoys swimming, fishing and family game nights.
“At the end of the day family is all you have,” she says. “My husband and kids are very supportive of my job and the crazy hours I work. They know that I am helping someone in need. They are the most important people in my life. Raising my kids to try new experiences and be the best they can be is my biggest and most important job in life.”
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